Urgent Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by HereFishyFishy, 24 Dec 2012.

  1. HereFishyFishy

    HereFishyFishy

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    Hi All,

    Newbie to the forum and soon to be hobby. I will be moving in a couple of months so have decided to wait till the move before I start, and start planning on all the equipment, fish and corals to put in the tank.

    After all the reading on the net and chats to LFS salesmen, I have still one important decision to make regarding the tank. As a beginner do I:

    Option 1.
    Purchase a complete smaller system like a REDSEA MAX 130D, and stock with some coral and fish. Which in a sense (my view) cost less than starting with a bigger tank. So that I can get into the hobby and use to caring for a marine tank, fish and corals. The plan then would then be to eventually upgrade to ultimately a 5ft or 6ft Tank. This would mean that I have spent money on the smaller complete tank, which possibly could be kept as a second tank around the house/office, or something else like a quarantine tank.

    Option 2
    Rather not spend (waste) additional money on a smaller complete system and just take the plunge and just purchase a 5ft or 6ft Tank and equipment (package) from like Dory’s or Idol Marine, and then slowly start stocking the tank, which in a sense would get me use to caring for a marine tank, fish and corals.

    I understand that option 1 would limit what can be kept. But if this is the better route to go in the long run then so be it.

    Any advice would greatly be appreciated, as I am stuck making my mind up with this important decision.
     
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  3. the fish

    the fish

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    Hi and welcome to MASA.

    In my opinion i would rather go with option 2. Reason being that with a bigger tank your parametera are normally a lot more stable than with a smaller tank. The cost of additives could be less. In the case that you have a fatality ( that we hope will not be the case) the chances of a spike in nitrates will be minimal as the volume of water is greater and can handle a lot more. The saying of bigger is not always better doesnt work with marines, here the bigger the better. Try also investing in an RO unit as it will save you some money than going to an LFS and buying RO to do topups with. If you are planning on mixing your own salt, invest in a good refractometer. :). Some will disagree but i think the majority will agree that you should go bigger rather. Oh and you will save a lot of money by building a costom tank, than buying a brand name. Unless you really like the curved glass and stuff( actually very nice):thumbup:
     
  4. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs

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    Hi There @HereFishyFishy ,,,

    masahello

    That is a real catch 22 situation. One which i was in very recently... I convinced myself to go for the smaller option, seeing that a bigger setup is a bit more expensive...

    So i bought all equipment, including a HOB skimmer, small t5 light setup etc... Only two months into it i got iritated with the small setup and not being able to have a sump etc...

    So now, I'm busy upgrading to a bigger tank and the first one havent even cycled yet... Im so upset with myself, cause now im pretty much stuck with the HOB skimmer, as im not going to pop out another few grand to buy another one...

    in short, if your mind is set on a bigger one, and that's what you really want, and you can afford it, go for it!! youll just end up getting annoyed with the smaller system and it's limitations in terms of not having a sump to put in reactors etc...

    But then again, 6 ft is pretty huge... so if you end up deciding this, take into account all of the factors. Weekly water changes, the amount of light units,,, etc.

    either way, im sure you'll enjoy this hobby to the max!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  5. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs

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    oh, and im not sure what lighting setup youre going with, BUT december is the month of giving, and some of our sponsors have GREAT specials on at the moment. Not to rush you into anything, but if your going for something like LED, id jump at the offers now, cause in jan they'll probably be back to normal pricing...
     
  6. Goby

    Goby

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    Either way, option 1 or 2....you are still going to take the plunge. :thumbup:

    I would go straight for the bigger system.

    For the tank sump and cabinets, if DIY is not your thing, get one of the suppliers to build you a system to you specification. For the rest of the hardware check the for sale section first. You can pick up decent equipment for really good prices. Will save you a lot!!

    I say, plan ahead don't RUSH and don't go buy every piece of equipment on the market thinking the system will run flawless. You can start a reef with minimum equipment. Start your system, grow your reef, learn and then when the time is right you'll know exactly what you want to achieve.

    You can always add new gear in time.

    Enjoy!
     
  7. Rossi

    Rossi

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    Welcome to MASA! I would go with option two! I started with small tank (Red Sea Max 250) they really limit you not only to livestock but equipment wise as well. I would rather spend money on a good skimmer that will last you a long time and will give you value for your money. My advice is to get all equipment sorted out and then only consider livestock!
     
  8. maj

    maj

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    just be sure that you have the budget to maintain a bigger tank,yes its stable with more volume but ur supplements cost much more,your water changes volume is much more,your equipment needed is much more.

    to fill the tank with livestock and corals is much more(this one we dont mind payin for tho,lol)

    end of the day....budget for marines is what determines the size of the tank.
    as maintenance is ongoing cost,equipment is once off(most of the time)
     
  9. Gesiggie

    Gesiggie Challenge accepted

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    Hi HereFishyFishy
    I started with a nano, and must admit, the learning curve is steep.
    Yes, it is more difficult to keep paramaters stable at times, but depending on your stock, it is definately do-able.

    I would start with something under 250L. See if the hobby is for you, fits into your lifestyle. If not, you did not spend huge bucks in an empty well. It is also cheaper to maintain, water changes are still manageable and very quick, and overall time spent on maintaining the system is minimal (if done correctly).

    Yes, it is true, most of the hardware you have to spend money on, will differ slightly from a small tank to a big tank, but you have to consider your running costs as well.

    If you stuck with your passion, seen the system evolve over six months, then sure, go for bigger.

    As a footnote and tongue in cheeck: it is easier to convince a partner to accept your hobby and spending regime for a small system, than to start off with a big system... They only see the money rolling out, not the joy it brings in... Might cause some BIG arguments....
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    There is an option 3 as well...

    Going for a 4 foot 250L system. All second hand. TS skimmer, T5 light unit. Check the for sale section.

    Then, if you are still here after 6 months. Then upgrade. There is soooooo much to learn. Smaller than 100L is also an option, but your learning curve is just a lot steeper. And if things go wrong, they go wrong faster in a small system.

    500L plus, is a lot more stable. But all the equipment is double size. 250L is one drum for a water change.

    Unless you got a thick wallet, or a credit card with the sky as the limit, then go all out. Get yourself top of the range products, tank built for you etc.... But if your wallet is anything like mine, then DIY is the route.

    Learn the basics first. Be able to keep algae under control. Start small, learn, Google, learn, Google until you know what you want. Your secondhand system, you can sell it again at basically the same prices you paid for it secondhand. Brand new items sell for about 50% of purchase price. No point in spending a lot of money, to find that you are not really into this, or that the costs of a large system is too much.
     
  11. chas84

    chas84

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    One very handy piece of equipment to invest in would be an auto topip. I started off with a 130l tank, but after a few minths upgraded to a 6foot tank and recently built a large sump, so even a large tank can be done in stages if you plan and execute carefully. I'd never want a small tank again, way too much effort.

    As for running costs on a big tank, I've invested in decent led lighting (2 x Maxspect razor 16000k) and recently a Vortech MP40 (will add another one soon). I don't dose anything other than Special Blend and don't have a set water change routine - I'm not saying because it works for me it will work for everyone, but each reef is unique and depends on factors such as stocking levels etc.

    An algae scrubber is also in my future plans.
     
  12. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye

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    I would say a 250Liter tank is a nice start it not to small and not to big and I have seen all to many times a nuby start of with all the entusiasim in the world just to throw in the towel a couple of monthes later, whethe it be finances or maintenece or live stock dieing and then strugeling to sell the tank. A 250 liter tank is a very popular tank and equpment is easey to come by and to sell. Make sure you are prepered to do what has to be done every month to keep your tank in good health.
     
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